Dodgers pregame notes: Zack Greinke, instant replay, Scott Van Slyke in center field

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

SURPRISE -- The Dodgers are in Surprise to play the Royals, but if all goes well back at Camelback Ranch today then Zack Greinke will start for the Dodgers on Wednesday against the Diamondbacks.

Greinke came out of his Monday bullpen session and fielding drills with no problems. He did more drills on Tuesday morning and if everything is okay after that then he will take the ball in a game for the first time in 13 days.

"He's going to do a few things today. If he can cross those off the list today, we'll try him in a regular game if that all goes good," manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday morning. "If not, we'll be a little more protective and use him on the back fields."

Greinke strained his right calf in a start on Feb. 27 against Arizona and came out of the game after just four pitches. He was tested in fielding drills under the watchful eye of director of medical services Stan Conte.

"It's more the PFP [pitchers fielding practice] movements and probably just a little more intensity, just to make sure that Stan [Conte] is comfortable with him covering first and having to make a play on a bunt, similar to the play J.P. [Howell] made yesterday, that's a full-out run," Mattingly said. "Guys are just going to react and play the game once they get out there in a game setting."

If he is unable to start on Wednesday, the start will likely go to Zach Lee, who started and pitched two innings against Texas on Friday. Lee is a candidate to at least make the trip with the Dodgers to Australia, but not as one of the 25 active players for the games against the Diamondbacks.

Mattingly said on Tuesday that the team will take a starting pitcher not on the roster to start the exhibition game against Team Australia on Thursday, March 20.

Notes

  • Scott Van Slyke is starting in center field, a position he last played in 2010 in Double-A Chattanooga in Game 1 of the 2013 NLCS, for all of one inning (h/t Jon Weisman). "We just wanted to see Slyke in center. We've talked about Scott being able to play it, but we just haven't put him out there," Mattingly said. "Today just seemed like the right day to put him out there."

    Asked about possibly playing center field last week, Van Slyke said, "Whatever the situation is, I want to be ready for it."

  • Today is the second of five games in the Cactus League for the Dodgers with the new instant replay rules in effect. Both managers are allowed to challenge one reviewable play in the first six innings. From the seventh inning on, all reviews must be initiated by the umpiring crew.

  • Matt Kemp took part in regular workouts and drills on Tuesday but did not play in any simulated or intrasquad, a planned day off.

  • Neither Andre Ethier nor Hanley Ramirez made the trip to Surprise today, but Mattingly said both would play each of the last five days of Cactus League play.

  • Alexander Guerrero made the trip to Surprise and will likely play second base after today's starter Justin Turner departs.

  • Also scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers after starter Dan Haren today are Jose Dominguez, Javy Guerra, Paco Rodrigeuz, Chris Withrow, Jamey Wright.

  • Up from the minor league side in uniform for the Dodgers today are pitchers Daniel Coulombe (No. 83), Sam Demel (38), and Craig Stem (96); catchers Kyle Farmer (88) and Webster Rivas (89); infielders Darnell Sweeney (84) and Daniel Mayora (91); and outfielders Noel Cuevas (92), Trayvon Robinson (93) and Aaron Bates (95).
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